MADRID: Rafael Nadal expects to be back playing competitive tennis by the end of the month, the world number one revealed on Monday.
The 31-year-old was forced to pull out of his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic in the fifth set two weeks ago due to a thigh injury.
"It's a small injury that needs time and rest and recovery, and that's what we're doing," Nadal said at the inauguration of a specialised tennis clinic in Madrid.
It means he will likely return to action -- as he had always planned to do post Melbourne -- at Acapulco, which starts on February 26.
"For the moment my schedule is the same and I think I'll be able to travel to Mexico to play at Acapulco," he added.
Nadal has twice won the Acapulco ATP tournament, in 2005 and 2013 but that was when it was played on clay. It has been played on hard courts since 2014.